CALIFORNIA: Apple unveiled an android app that will help users who do not own iPhones or iPads to detect unexpected AirTags and other devices compatible with Apple’s Find My Network that are near them.
The development makes good on the technology company’s pledge to boost user privacy. The Tracker Detect app, which was first floated in June this year, allows users to find out if they are being tracked without their knowledge. After a manual scan, any AirTag found will be flagged as an “unknown”, and a sound can be played to locate it.
Tapping it with an iPhone or NFC-capable device will provide instructions on how to disable it by removing its battery. If the AirTag is in “lost mode”, instructions on how to return it to its owner will be given.
The move is meant to soothe fears regarding privacy, particularly for owners of Android devices who make up about three quarters of mobile users around the world, according to Statista data.
Until the app’s launch, Android users could be stalked or followed using an AirTag without them being aware of it.
Apple’s AirTags were launched in April but critics expressed concern that they could be used to stalk people. In June, the iPhone maker issued a software update by adjusting the time period that an AirTag that is no longer with its owner beeps to deter abuse.
Apple has said that information, including identity and location, on AirTags is encrypted and no one, Apple included, has access to it. Tracker Detect has been made available on Google Play.